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Friday, September 21, 2012

Strategic CSR - Organic food

The article in the url below covers the recent controversial meta-analysis by Stanford University researchers who analyzed more than four decades of research on the relative merits (health, nutrition, etc.) of organic over conventional foods. Some summary quotes:

They concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, which tend to be far less expensive. Nor were they any less likely to be contaminated by dangerous bacteria like E. coli.

The researchers also found no obvious health advantages to organic meats.

Conventional fruits and vegetables did have more pesticide residue, but the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits, the scientists said. The Environmental Protection Agency sets the limits at levels that it says do not harm humans.

Judging by the robustness of the organic food market and the strength of the backlash this report generated, these data are unlikely to change any consumption habits any time soon:

The organic produce market in the United States has grown quickly, up 12 percent last year, to $12.4 billion, compared with 2010, according to the Organic Trade Association. Organic meat has a smaller share of the American market, at $538 million last year, the trade group said.

Have a good weekend.

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Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce
By Kenneth Chang
The New York Times
September 4, 2012